Warriors vs Cavs LIVE: It’s going to be hard to top the dramatics from Game 1 of the NBA Finals, especially the unpredictable ending in which Cleveland’s J.R. Smith ran out the clock instead of going for the win in regulation.
Game 1 may have been the best opportunity for the Cavaliers to find a chip in the Golden State Warriors’ armor, and there’s no doubt Steve Kerr’s team will come out motivated to produce a better performance in Sunday’s Game 2.
While the Warriors possess multiple scoring options on offense, the Cavaliers continued to struggle with finding a support system for LeBron James and Kevin Love in Game 1.
2018 NBA Finals Schedule and Broadcast Info
Game 1—Thursday, May 31: Cavaliers at Warriors, 9 p.m. ET on ABC; streaming on WatchESPN
Game 2—Sunday, June 3: Cavaliers at Warriors, 8 p.m. ET on ABC; streaming on WatchESPN
Game 3—Wednesday, June 6: Warriors at Cavaliers, 9 p.m. ET on ABC; streaming on WatchESPN
Game 4—Friday, June 8: Warriors at Cavaliers, 9 p.m. ET on ABC; streaming on WatchESPN
*Game 5—Monday, June 11: Cavaliers at Warriors, 9 p.m. ET on ABC; streaming on WatchESPN
*Game 6—Thursday, June 14: Warriors at Cavaliers, 9 p.m. ET on ABC; streaming on WatchESPN
*Game 7—Sunday, June 17: Cavaliers at Warriors, 8 p.m. ET on ABC; streaming on WatchESPN
How Do Cavaliers Bounce Back After Deflating Game 1 Loss?
Smith’s inexcusable play at the end of regulation in Game 1 could come back to haunt the Cavaliers.
Not only did Cleveland lose Game 1, but it lost all of the momentum heading into Game 2, where the Warriors could take full advantage of their home-court advantage.
Smith’s late-game error also wasted LeBron James’ 51-point performance, which might be hard to replicate if the Warriors make defensive adjustments.
James received some help from Love and Smith, who both reached double digits, but he needs more out of his supporting cast than Smith’s 10 points as a tertiary scorer.
Cleveland received 23 points off the bench, which was two more than Love’s Game 1 total, but an ideal number would be over 30 in order to counter the production from the stars in the Golden State lineup.
Larry Nance Jr. could be the player who steps up for the Cavaliers, as he produced nine points and 11 rebounds off the bench.
If Nance is able to make a similar impact on the game, and help out a little more on the offensive side of the hardwood, the Cavaliers stand a chance of pulling out a win at Oracle Arena.
Another X-factor candidate is Jeff Green, but he struggled from the field in Game 1, as he made three of his nine field-goal attempts.
Warriors vs Cavaliers Need To Find Defensive Answer To LeBron James
With Andre Iguodala sidelined, the Warriors are struggling a bit on the defensive end of the court, especially when it comes to limiting James’ production.
There are two ways the Warriors can approach Game 2 when it comes to stopping one of the best players in NBA history.
The Cavaliers vs Warriors could focus on silencing the role players, who haven’t exactly proved their worth on a consistent basis. That strategy would force James and Love to score the majority of the points, just like they did in Game 1.